by David Jablonsky
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010. Pp. xiv, 386.
Notes, biblio., index. $35.00. ISBN: 0300153899
War by Land, Sea, and Air,
a volume in the "Yale Library of Military History", examines the evolution of inter-service command in the armed forces from a vaguely defined notion that army and navy commanders should operate in "cooperation" at the start of the twentieth century through the 1958 defense reorganization act, that brought the services more closely under the authority of the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
Jablonsky, a retired colonel in the army and a professor at the Army War College, who has written several works on grand strategy and the world wars (e.g., Churchill, the Great Game, and Total War, etc.) rightly sees Eisenhower as a pivotal player in this development. Opening with a look at Eisenhower's early military career shaped his views on the subject, Jablonsky then focuses on, given the demands of global conflict, Ike pressed for greater unification not only of the American armed forces but of the entire Allied coalition as well. This was a major influence upon Eisenhower when, as president, he greater unification of the armed forces, not without considerable resistance.
A valuable read for those interested in the Allied command during World War II and in the formation of the modern American military establishment.